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State Media Silent on Anniversary of Mao’s Death

September 9 marked the 32nd anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong, the former Chairman and idol of China. Chinese state media had little coverage and remained low key on the anniversary of Mao’s death. Mao’s name has apparently been one of the sensitive names about which the government discourages the open discussion. One posting on the issue was found on titled: “Chinese people will never forget Mao Zedong”. But when the posting was opened, a message jumped out: “this posting has been deleted after inspection.”

Source: Voice of America, September 9, 2008

Xinhua Defending Increases in China’s Defense Budget

Xinhua published a series of articles in the past few days defending the increases in China’s defense budget and further elaborating on how China feels about the speculation from the West over the lack of transparency in the defense budget.

One of the articles cited: “There is an unwritten rule that exists among US intelligent agencies that China’s publicized defense budget only accounts for half or one third of the actual spending. Therefore, the more information we share, more speculation it would bring. … Apparently, China’s defense budget has become their targeted topic.”

On September 5, Japan issued the 2008 Defense White Paper, in which, it named China for lack of transparency in its military spending.

Source: Xinhua, September 9, 2008

Jane’s Information Group Criticized for Hyping “China Threat” Theory

An article from Global Times criticized Jane’s Information Group for hyping the “China Threat” theory in its recently published report.  The report has predicted that China was to grow to be the largest weapons exporting country in the world. The article claimed that the military expense quoted by Jane’s Information Group was overstated without any support. It said that some western countries have never trusted the 2007 White Paper that China submitted. The article also said that the US needs to take the blame for over-hyping the “China Threat” theory. In the mean time, China will continue to grow its military power regardless of the speculations, cited the article.

Xinhua, September 7, 2008
Jane’s Industry Quarterly – China, India and Russia In The Changing Global Defence Market, September 3, 2008

CASS scholar: US is On Guard against the Emergence of China’s Soft Power

“The US is uneasy about the emergence of China’s soft power and will take measures to make up its own losses.” Fan Jishe told Global Times (Huan Qiu Shi Bao) referring to a report published by Congressional Research Studies (CRS) titled “Comparing Global Influence: China’s and U.S. Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Developing World.” Fan said: “The US is concerned that China may compete with the US in its appeal to other countries.”

In referring to an earlier report, written by CRS under the request of Congressman Biden titled “China’s Foreign Policy and ‘Soft Power’ in South America, Asia, and Africa”, Fan said that the first report was focused on the definition of China’s soft power and its impact to the US-China relationship. The second one was to compare the soft power between China and US and U.S. foreign policy options in light of China’s emergence.

Fan is a researcher from Department of American Diplomacy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Global Times, September 8, 2008
Comparing Global Influence: China’s and U.S. Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Developing World, August 15, 2008
China’s Foreign Policy and ‘Soft Power’ in South America, Asia, and Africa

China’s Military General: No Country is Ready to Fight Against China

An article circulating on the Internet, has quoted claims made by Peng Guangqian, Military General of the Chinese Academy of Military Science: there are few countries that are able to fight a war against China; no country is ready to do that. Peng said that China’s military defense power has made major progress in the past decades. “Even if there are few countries that are able to fight against us, little is assured that those countries will survive even when they defeat China.”

Peng also pointed out that China’s military strategy is gradually shifting its focus from protecting the nation’s interest to surviving during a war. He said the adjustment is moving towards protecting the interest in the development of the country.

Source: Qiang Guo Forum, People’s Daily, September, 3, 2008

Li Peng, the Former Prime Minister, is Seriously Ill

Li Peng, the former prime minister, was not present at the funeral service held for Hua Guofeng two days ago. Unverified sources disclosed that Li has been seriously ill after he suffered a stroke earlier this year. It was said that the Propaganda Department has started to draft Li’s death annoucement and was carefully picking out the words for fear of heightened response with the 20th anniversary of the June 4th student movement in 2009.

Source: Boxun, September 1,2008

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